The best time for an individual to learn a new language is when they are very young. As they grow up and are actively engaged in their languages, it becomes second nature. I would like to use this same approach, but with learning about nutrition – what to eat and why it matters.
We are starting to see a decrease in physical fitness classes in schools, which I believe is a negative trend, however that is a different topic. A mandatory nutrition class in elementary school, for every grade, would show improvement in the overall health of society and its interest in nutrition, affecting the child’s cognition before it is otherwise influenced, interjecting at an early age in order to hopefully avoid participating in the Change Model later in life
This class can involve all different aspects of food and nutrition. The United States is becoming more and more of a mixing pot, and to incorporate all of the different social groups, children would be able to bring their cultural influence of food to class. Due to the cost of food, it is hardly attainable for some families, so the class can go over inexpensive tips. There can also be an “outside” component, where kids can be involved in gardening, the preparation and upkeep, and then the reward of picking yummy fruits and veggies right from the source. This also allows the kids to experience the true taste of fresh produce.
While putting this class together, the level of material must be targeted for the appropriate grade. In order for the children to actively learn, there has to be a purpose through the childs eyes. To help implement the objectives of the nutrition course, a formal written plan would be created for each grade with the appropriate activities, concepts and goals. The plan would be presented to the parents so that they are aware of what the children are learning about and could possibly reinforce the lessons by involving the children with relevent activities at home. The parents would also be encouraged to join in on some of the activities at school, enhancing the nutritional message by participation.